Friday, May 9, 2008

Adulturated honey looks, tastes and smells exactly like pure honey, and is more common than you think...

Adulterated Honey is found on more store shelves than ever before. Why is this happening? What can we do about it?

A recent survey shows that a little over 36% of commercial bee hives have been lost in the United States since last year. Last year wasn't so hot, either. The Apiary Inspectors of America reported a huge loss of about 32%.

This is shaking up the honey industry pretty hard, and rather than deal with it honestly, more than a few companies are turning to shady practices to keep afloat.

Adulterated honey has always been around, but is becoming more common these days. Many in the honey business are being stung harder than ever before where it hurts the most, in the wallet.

Cleverly adulterated honey, with a bit of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and quality flavorings added, can fool even the most sophisticated tastebuds. Done right, the doctored up honey can also fool the eye and nose. Often the only way to detect impure honey is by laboratory testing.

The sad thing is, although it's easy enough to test adulterated honey, catching the violators is the hard part.

Malcolm T. Sanford, professor, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences,
University of Florida nails it: "All too frequently, the trail leads to phantom producers and distributors, hiding behind false labels and cash transactions." Only when enough people contact food inspectors, legislators and other policy makers with solid information can some effective action be taken."

Here is some practical advice he wrote in a document published by the Entomology and Nematology Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service:

As in the past, the beekeeping industry is the first line of defense against adulteration. A "self-policing" program, sponsored by the American Beekeeping Federation continues to be in effect. Suspicious honey is tested and, if found adulterated, the Federation notifies the proper officials and sends a report to the person who sent the sample for their follow-up. In spite of the recent adulterating activity, the Federation is receiving very few samples.

Feeding bees sugar syrup and/or HFCS and extracting "honey" containing these products is also adulteration. Thus, beekeepers cannot be too careful. Even small amounts of adulterants are detected by tests currently in use. It is impossible to tell adulterated honey by either taste, smell or color. The only real evidence comes from defined techniques certified by the National Association of Chemists. Experience has shown, however, that adulterated product has one or all of the following characteristics:

1. No flavor, just sweet.
2. Very light or very dark
3. Molasses flavor
4. Consistently low price

In addition to the above characteristics, adulterated honey has often been associated with "rustic" labels and "Mason" type jars. If you see suspicious product, contact :

American Beekeeping Federation
P.O. Box 1337, Jesup, GA 31598
Phone: 912-427-4233
Fax: 912-427-8447
Email: info@ABFnet,org

They may want a sample of it, along with this information:

Date ____________________

DESCRIPTION OF HONEY SAMPLE: (include the label or copy the information on printed label including size of package, brand, name and address of packer or distributor)_____________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________

Where purchased:___________________________________________
Date purchased:____________________________________________
Code # on Jar or label_______________________

If only the packer's name appears on label, name and address of distributor:

____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________

Reason why honey is suspected of being adulterated_____________ ______________________________________________________________

Name and Address of Sender_________________________________

Coming soon...amazing healing benefits and other uses for honey.

This copyrighted material may be reprinted by you for noncommercial use, if the following credit is given:

This article is an excerpt from Mrs. Tightwad's Handbook #1: HOW TO SURVIVE DISASTERS AND OTHER HARD TIMES. For more information, see the left sidebar on this site:

No comments: